IRCC Announced: New Rules for International Students in Canada: Your Path to Permanent Residence (PR)

Thinking about studying in Canada and eventually staying there permanently? Great choice! Canada welcomes international students, but there have been some recent changes to the process of getting Permanent Residence (PR) after graduation. This article will explain these changes in simple terms and give you tips to improve your chances of staying in Canada after your studies.

Important Update: PR is not guaranteed

In the past, many international students assumed studying in Canada meant they could easily get PR. This isn’t necessarily true anymore. Canada now prioritizes applicants with specific skills and experience. However, don’t worry! There are still ways to increase your chances of getting PR.

The Hurdles to PR

Even after graduating from a Canadian college or university (called a Designated Learning Institution or DLI), there are steps you need to take before becoming a permanent resident. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Work Experience: Most PR programs require Canadian work experience. This is often gained through a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP), which lets you work in Canada after graduation.
  • PGWP Changes: Be aware that the PGWP program might change in the future. Stay updated on any new rules.
  • Applying for PR: After gaining work experience, you can apply for PR through programs like the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) or Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs).

How Canada Selects Immigrants

Canada uses a points-based system called Express Entry to manage immigration applications. You get points for factors like education, work experience, and language skills. However, Canada might prioritize applicants with:

  • French Language Skills: Knowing French gives you an advantage!
  • Work Experience in High-Demand Fields: Canada needs workers in certain areas like healthcare, technology, and trades. Focus on getting experience in these fields.

What This Means for You

These changes might make it harder for some international graduates to get PR. Here’s how it can affect you:

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  • Limited Time with PGWP: You can only stay in Canada for the duration of your PGWP. Get PR before it expires, or you might have to leave.
  • Express Entry Competition: With more competition in Express Entry, a high score might not be enough. Focus on the tips below to boost your chances.

Boosting Your Chances of PR

Don’t be discouraged! Here’s how you can improve your chances of getting PR:

  • Work Experience: Look for jobs in high-demand fields listed earlier. This will give you valuable experience and increase your points in Express Entry.
  • Learn French: Mastering French gives you a significant advantage in the immigration process.

High-Demand Fields for PR

Here are some of the fields where work experience can give you a PR edge:

  • Healthcare workers (doctors, nurses, etc.)
  • Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) professionals
  • Skilled tradespeople (electricians, plumbers, etc.)
  • Transportation workers (truck drivers, pilots, etc.)
  • Agriculture and food production workers

Focus on French

Getting a Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) level of seven in French (the highest level) can significantly boost your PR application.

Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs)

Explore PNP programs in your province of study. Some PNPs are designed specifically for international graduates and might offer an easier path to PR.

Here’s a table summarizing some PNP programs for international graduates in different provinces:

AlbertaGraduate Entrepreneur Stream, Foreign Graduate Entrepreneur Stream, Alberta Opportunity Stream
British ColumbiaInternational Graduate Category, International Post-Graduate Category
ManitobaManitoba Work Experience Pathway, Employer Direct Recruitment Pathway, International Education Stream, Graduate Internship Pathway
Newfoundland and LabradorInternational Graduate Category, International Graduate Entrepreneur Category
Nova ScotiaInternational Graduate In-Demand Stream, International Graduate Entrepreneur Stream
OntarioHuman Capital Category, Master’s or PhD Category, Employer Job Offer Category
SaskatchewanSaskatchewan Experience Category, Student Subcategory, International Graduate Entrepreneur Category


Focus on gaining work experience in high-demand fields and developing your French language skills. Research PNP programs in your province. With hard work and planning, you can increase your chances of becoming a permanent resident of Canada!

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